worship

Planning center Being responsible for the order, timing, and flow of the weekend worship service and trying to inform everyone of what is planned can be a tall order week after week. I can’t even count on two hands the amount of times I’ve attempted creating a planning template for weekend worship services & presenting it. The over-zealous planner vs the fly-by-night worship leaders, teachers, pastors, announcers, and any other additions thrown into the mix.

Then I stumbled upon www.planningcenteronline.com – I can’t even remember how I found it! It must have been divine intervention. This is an online planning center that is totally web 2.0 looking – very easy to navigate through and packed with features designed just for the church. Plan your service from start to finish. Include preservice activities, worship songs, announcements (yuck!), videos, teaching, communion, offering, etc. As you add elements to your services, a running total adds up the time each event takes and keeps an updated total time so you can see how each addition affects the overall time.

This doesn’t just keep the events of a service organized, it is also a volunteer organizer, helping you keep track of your teams, scheduling and automatically emailing them & reminding them of rehearsals and services that they are scheduled for. Better yet – when they confirm their position, they can view the plan online with all the details – the songs, keys, charts, videos, etc. Did I mention that this becomes your worship leaders song database as well? Add songs to the schedule, upload the lead sheets, the mp3’s, make notes on arrangements – as you add songs to your database, planningcenteronline shows you how often you play songs, when the last time you played it, etc.

If all this is not making you drool all over your keyboard, there is also a matrix view that let’s you look at weeks at a time so it becomes super easy to plan songs, videos, promo’s, teams, speakers weeks in advance. You can also look back in time to see what has happened in the past weeks – remember you did that really cool new song? You forgot to do it again! Let’s plan it for this week!

Check it out here – you can sign up for a 30 day FREE trial, after that you can sign up for plans from $10 or so per month.

Today I headed up to Riverside to Grove Community Church for the SouthWest Church Planter Forum. Normally we’ve been meeting at Oscar’s in Temecula – today was the first time we met in Riverside, a little inconvenient, but worth the drive. I love these gatherings for a number of reasons:

  • I believe in church planting (done right – although it’s messy)
  • There’s always a good group of people to network with
  • 2 words: Free Food
  • We always get a free book
  • It’s a good excuse to get out of the office

This is where I’ll be for the next few hours… on TwitPic Today was especially cool for me for two reasons, well three actually. (1) My wife came (love that). (2) My new boss, Pastor Scott from RCC was there. (3) I got to play drums in a quasi ‘all-star’ worship band. It was Eric on acousting & leading, Travis on electric, Vince on Bass, Emily (Travis’ wife & my sister) on vox, and a girl named Stephanie on keys & vox. We did four songs:

  1. Gravity (John Mayer) yup…
  2. From the Inside Out
  3. Some new song…
  4. Mighty to Save

It was cool to play with these people, and so much fun to be back on the skins! Plus, I was able to make the sound guy happy, which is always a good thing!

Our speaker is a dead giveaway for Tommy Lee Jones on TwitPic Dennis Keating (who is a dead look a like for Tommy Lee Jones) from Emannuel Faith in Escondido was our guest speaker today and he shared on 7 Leaks that will Drain Your Soul – here’s my notes:

1. Words without Practice. Just saying something doesn’t actualize it. Be a TREE not a PIPE.

2. Business without a Purpose. Just because ministry calls, doesn’t mean that ministry is calling. Why am I doing this? What am I good at?

3. Calendars without a Sabbath. It’s not the things you do in Ministry that kill you; it’s the things you don’t get done. A calendar that doesn’t have the time to fill you up will suck you dry. Rest, Reflection, & Exercise are no longer options.

4. Relationships without Mutual Nourishment. It’s easy in Ministry to be acquainted with too many People, but to be Known by too few. Take the risk of sharing in a reciprocal relationship honestly. Everyone needs a Titus.

5. Personality without Healthy Self-Examination. Ministry is easily Built on Unhealthy needs. I cannot play father to the world.

6. Discipline without Variety. We need to shock & awe ourselves every once in a while. Do something different; read a book, write a song, take a trip, meditate, anything different to break the routine.

7. Natural Giftedness without Spiritual Character. Pastors can go a Long way on “chutzpah“. Stay LOW before the Lord.

God’s power shows up best in dented people…

That was some pretty powerful stuff – I hope I can take it and get it deep in my soul. I want to plan on the long haul, ministry for a lifetime. One thing Dennis said was “Anyone can suck it up and do anything for a couple years”, he went on to say that you MUST view ministry as long term – something many people in ministry do not do.

What about you?